Alliant advancing energy infrastructure, technology

A lot has changed since Alliant Energy first began to serve the community of Marshalltown more than a century ago. Some of the changes include customer expectations for more renewable energy and new options to manage energy use. Additionally, customers expect us to maintain the reliability and affordability they are accustomed to receiving.

Alliant Energy has been responding to the evolving energy landscape by making investments that will benefit the hundreds of communities we are proud to serve. Last summer, our employees worked tirelessly to rebuild the electric and natural gas systems following the devastating tornado that swept through this community.

Being a part of the communities we serve also means planning for their energy future.

With technology advancements, wind energy is increasingly cost competitive with other sources of energy and is a key aspect of our clean energy vision. Wind reduces fuel costs, lowers emissions, and benefits local communities. It also helps ensure we continue to keep our rates competitive with energy companies across the Midwest and nationally.

New technologies also help enhance reliability and customer service. For example, Alliant Energy is installing advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) to ensure the energy grid remains highly reliable. The new meters enable faster outage response and improved meter accuracy.

In early March, residents in Marshall County received a notice in the mail regarding the base rate portion of customer bills. This increase only shows the impact to one part of the bill.

The other parts of the bill include energy efficiency, transmission and fuel costs for electric customers. Our wind expansion, for example, helps to significantly reduce fuel costs, and is expected to avoid more than $20 million in energy costs this year alone. 

As a result, a typical residential electric customer whose bill was $116 per month in 2018 should see an $8 a month increase this year (approximately 7 percent), and an additional $12 a month increase next year (approximately 10 percent), if approved.

Through ongoing advocacy along with continued low gas prices, residential natural gas customers will actually see lower bills. A typical monthly residential gas bill is expected to drop from $65 in 2018 to $61 in 2020.

Together with employees in the Marshalltown Operations facility, we look forward to continuing to deliver reliable, affordable, safe and increasingly clean energy for many more years.

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Terry Kouba is president of Alliant Energy’s Iowa energy company.